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Enable ping on Mandrake 8.2/9.0 with high security levels

As from Mandrake 8.2, security levels 4 and 5 (Higher and Paranoid) do not allow the server to respond to ping requests. There is an excellent overview of msec (the program that sets the security levels) on MandrakeSecure.

The server will be able to ping other machines on the network, but other machines will not be able to ping the server, and also ping localhost or ping 127.0.0.1 will not work.

To enable ping, put the following lines in /etc/security/msec/level.local (create it if it doesn't exist):

  from mseclib import *
  accept_icmp_echo(1)

From Mandrake 9.0 onwards, you will also need to edit /etc/sysctl.conf, and change the net.ipv4.icmp_echo_ignore_all entry to 0 (zero).

Then run msec and /etc/init.d/network restart and the server should now respond to ping 127.0.0.1

For other options that can be set in this file, see man mseclib.